Jacob Polley was born in Carlisle in 1975. For three months, he was artist in residence at his local newspaper where he wrote a poem a day. He has published two poetry collections and a novel, Talk of the Town, which is written in a phonetic version of Cumbrian dialect.
The Havocs, his third volume of poetry, conjures horror and unsettling comedy from traditional forms and makes the ordinary seem strange. On being asked what a prize nomination means to him he said, “there’s no bigger thrill than imagining the book I’ve written in a stranger’s hands.” He teaches at the University of St Andrews.